Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New system using bacterial communities to solve complex problems

Date:
June 16, 2010
Source:
Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Summary:
A new system using bacterial communities to autonomously solve complex problems has been developed by researchers in Spain. The designed algorithms help to synchronize different bacteria according to the bacteria's natural capabilities and mechanisms of communication, such as bacterial conjugation and quorum sensing.

Collection of designs and results of the various developments.
Credit: Ángel Goñi

A new system using bacterial communities to autonomously solve complex problems was developed at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática. The designed algorithms help to synchronize different bacteria according to the bacteria's natural capabilities and mechanisms of communication, such as bacterial conjugation and quorum sensing.

Bacterial conjugation is the process of transferring genetic information from a donor cell to a receptor cell. Quorum sensing is a mechanism for controlling genetic expression depending on cell density.

Manipulating bacterial communication

The new system developed as part of this research modifies and manipulates these mechanisms of communication among bacteria to achieve computations with rudimentary decision-making systems.

The newly designed architectures have been used in computational applications, including autonomous complex problem solving by bacterial communities and the design of a population oscillator similar to a client/server architecture. The client/server architecture is a major model in computer science for developing information systems where the transactions are divided into independent processes that cooperate with each other to exchange information, services or resources.

Medical and ecological applications

The applications of the system, which has been validated both at the biological (expertise) and computational (simulation) levels, cover scientific fields as far apart as medicine or ecology.

Research has focused on their development to design communications architectures for multi-strain bacterial communities. On the one hand, a heterogeneous community using bacterial conjugation as a key communications protocol was designed. This heterogeneous community is based on the idea of differentiating computational instructions stored in the bacterial chromosome of the data sets stored in plasmid vectors. Plasmids or vectors are extrachromosomal circular or linear DNA molecules that are replicated and transcribed independently of chromosomal DNA.

On the other hand, using quorum sensing in the communications protocol, the research realized an emerging behaviour by mixing several functionally different strains of the same community. This led to the design of hardware devices using non-electric molecular technology based on biology as instead of electronics as is usual practice in computing.

Another step towards synthetic biology

The methodology developed in this research has led to the design of a bacterium that can perform a specific purpose independently of the rest of the system, thereby enhancing component reusability.

This research is another step forward in the development of an interdisciplinary science, synthetic biology and bacterial computing, a product of the marriage between biology and computer science.

This new discipline has led to the construction of molecular devices acting as rudimentary computers and performing defined logical calculation tasks. Engineering is an aid for undertaking the design of these biosystems as a formalized component configuration task. The underlying idea is to build living systems with functionalities that are not found in nature.

This research was developed by informatics engineer Ángel Goñi Moreno as his PhD thesis defended at the Facultad de Informática in May 2010. The PhD thesis was supervised by Facultad de Informática professor Juan Castellanos Peñuela, PhD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "New system using bacterial communities to solve complex problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601072638.htm>.
Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. (2010, June 16). New system using bacterial communities to solve complex problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601072638.htm
Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. "New system using bacterial communities to solve complex problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601072638.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins